From ponies to podiums: HOYS finalist third in Miss World

  • While beauty pageants may appear to be a long way from the life of your average equestrian, one dedicated amateur rider has proved you can be successful in both after being placed third at the Miss World final in Sanya, China, on 18 November.

    Derbyshire-based Stephanie Hill, 22, who holds the 2017 Miss England crown, was the highest placed English contestant in a Miss World final since 1992.

    Credit: Graham Stone for Miss England

    The keen showing enthusiast has been placed at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) and recently graduated with a first class honors degree in oncology and radiography.

    “Miss World was like nothing I have ever experienced or will experience again in my life,” said Stephanie.

    “It was exhilarating, exhausting, inspiring, incredible and unbelievable.

    “I have come away from the experience exceedingly grateful; for my family and loved ones, for the wonderful memories I will treasure for the rest of my life, and for my country, its culture and the incredible opportunities I have as a result of living here.

    “To be placed third in the oldest, most prestigious competition of its kind in the world, surrounded by sensational representatives from 118 countries was more than I ever could have dreamt of.”

    Stephanie has owned her now 17-year-old gelding Diamond Cavalier Royale (Piggles) for seven years.

    Stephanie and Piggles have enjoyed showjumping success as well as top results in the show ring, particularly in working hunter classes.

    One of Stephanie’s highlights with Piggles was coming fourth in the SEIB search for a star working hunter horse of the year at HOYS in 2012.

    “He’s a bit of a star in his own right,” said Stephanie. “He’s my first horse and an absolute dream.

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    “Surprisingly, a lot of people in the showing world have done Miss England; I think it’s because we’re used to performing and being in the spotlight.

    “Not a lot seems to faze horsey people; we all have weird and wonderful hobbies.”

    Stephanie eventually plans to become a clinical scientist, but now intends to take a year out from her studies to fulfill her Miss England role travelling with Miss World for their ’Beauty with a Purpose’ charity projects across the globe.

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